Monday, September 12, 2011

happy 11 year!

(drawing from 2006)

i've reached my special anniversary again today. 11 years since i've been able to walk. i usually think about this day as it's approaching, but i completely forgot about it until literally maybe a day or two ago. i've been too busy with creating art and going back to work after a nice fulfilling summer, (you know, having and living a life), that it's completely slipped my mind. which i'd say is a very good thing. 
so, instead of babbling off about old, painful memories, struggles, and nonsense, like i did last year, now might be a good time to share accomplishments and how much more i do than i had originally thought i could 11 years ago.  i have a full time job and my own apartment. working and living on my own are two (of the many) things that have caused me stress and depression for years and years, seeing as i didn't know if i could physically do it on my own. 
working has proven to be everything i've feared, but expected: indescribable back pain, embarrassingly fat swollen feet, awkward interactions with strangers revolving around my disability.  what i never considered are all the willing people who jump to help me when i can't do, can't reach, can't move. the past 11 years have been full of people who thought i was the special glass child, going to break any second. being young, and in a wheelchair, it's the natural response (i guess?) but it's something i've always despised. the job i now have is the first time i feel as though i'm almost a real person, made out of real people-parts. no one treats me like i'm going to shatter to pieces. it's a professional environment where people actually realize and acknowledge that i'm an adult and treat me that way. people offer help at times, but in a completely different manner than the other baby "help" forced on me for as long as i can remember. only opening doors, reaching what i can't , moving chairs... that's about it. there is no babying, only courtesy and it's amazing not to feel so small and helpless. finally.
as for living on my own. i've been aching to move out of my parents house for years, basically since i graduated from college (sorry mom). i couldn't just rent whatever was available, or the cheapest, or anything. i had to consider what level it's on, if i can fit through doorways, bathrooms, parking, boring nonsense that i'm tired of dealing with. luckily i found the complex made specifically for people with disabilities. my parking lot is lined with handicap spaces. convenient ramps. my apartment is flat and open. low sinks, low counters, low windows, low oven. high outlets, huge shower, sliding doors. it's beyond perfect for wheelchair users, such as myself, and i immediately felt at home. i knew it was going to be hard to adjust being on my own, and my past depression always wandered to what it might be like... but it's not nearly as hard as i thought.  

this complex saved me a lot of struggle and i'm unbelievable grateful for that. nothing's ever hopeless, things can always get better. go team go.

above: oversized shower. (complete with dinosaur decals. i'm a child.) bottom left: low sink, able to roll slightly underneath. (complete with too many clean/dirty dishes. i'm lazy.) bottom right: low counterspace, able to fully roll underneath.  may not seem to be a big deal...but these things, such simple, yet beautiful things.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds wonderful! Great to hear honey, and glad you almost "forgot" :)